A Small yet hardy bunch set off in search of the highest village in Staffordshire not Cheshire ;-). Great to see a return of Brigid the flying machine and not to mention Club regular and trophy muncher Lady Di.
The village of Flash was the groups destination, so with a small delay at the start due to a very upset ride leader who had a poorly bike (some say not hard enough) wheels rolled off with three hardy wheelers heading up Church street.
The first part of the route was heading through Kingsley, Weaverham, and then what seems the pothole capital of Cheshire “Northwich”. Not deterred and after several bunny hops and zig zags later we cracked on.
It was a pretty nippy start to the day with temps at 4c but that doesn’t deter a wheeler. Certainly wasn’t the day for “suns out guns out”
Once through Northwich the scenery changed to wonderful open countryside and now Macclesfield Forest awaits with a series of climbs and steep descents. Pace as expected was slooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww up and fasssssssstttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt down. Good progress was being made although on occasions the fast narrow descents greeted us with locked gates. Not ideal when travelling at 30mph downhill AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Through endless farm yards and five gates later we arrived in the valley below Flash. A wonderful place and popular with walkers and scramble bikes.
There are a couple of routes to Flash, one steady 5% and the other 15%. As expected the route planner chose the 15% route (The one who didn’t ride it:-0). Conversations soon stopped when the summit appeared high upon the ridge line. So naturally a slow drag up to the top wishing we had opted for the 5%. At the top we were greeted with a light snow shower and an opportunity to take a couple of snaps. Pretty nice spot I must say and you’re never too old for selfie.
Next stop the Cat & Fiddle Tea Rooms for lunch. The Café was only 3 miles away, so rather than opt for the direct and easier route we took a detour down a steep descent into a valley floor with road conditions classed as “horrendous”. At that point a mountain bike would have been more suitable or even a quad bike. Not deterred, two consecutive 20% climbs were completed before we hit the Cat & Fiddle.
We were greeted by club rider Dave Arundale at the Tea Rooms. A nice surprise and another chance to see the Merckx and the 34. A quick food stop followed a part descent of the Cat & Fiddle then a spin into the Goyt Valley. Now with Dave on the front things got a little easier.
The ride soon passed through Alderley Edge and Knutsford and back to Frodsham. Some impressive riding from the guys today. A big well done to Di Turner, Brigid Wilde and Dave Arundale for being part of this Easters Epic ride.